Best Places To Live In Richmond

Best Places to Live in RichmondEvery year as soon as winter starts to fade, “For Sale” signs start popping up everywhere. For families with kids, the reason for this is simple: it’s best to sell early so that you can be moved to a new place before the kids start school. Likewise, with spring flowers and budding trees, curb appeal skyrockets. With that in mind, we know there are a number of you out there who are either looking to relocate within the Greater Richmond area, or you’re headed to Richmond from somewhere else. So today, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best places to live in Richmond.

For the last several years, U.S. News and World Report has surveyed 125 metropolitan areas across the nation to determine the best places to live. If you’re from Richmond, or even if you’re relatively new, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Richmond made the list. In fact, Richmond comes in at #54 based on factors like value, job markets, schools, etc. But while we might all know that Richmond is a great place to live, we wanted to take it even further and determine where the best places to live in Richmond itself are.

Of course, deciding “the best place to live” will ultimately come down to a personal choice – and we’re not about to pretend to know what everyone needs from their neighborhood or community. However, there are some factors that are fairly universal for families when it comes to choosing a place to call home.

To create our list this week, we did a little digging, consulting some of the top real estate analysis groups out there, including Niche, Movoto, and Home Snacks, just to name a few. With their help, we came up with a list of criteria that we used to determine the best places to live in Richmond and the surrounding areas:

  1. Quality schools
  2. Best bang for your buck when it comes to home prices
  3. Low crime rates
  4. Location, location, location (i.e., proximity to employment, attractions, and amenities)

Quite frankly, it was hard to narrow down the results because the Greater Richmond area, undeniably, has countless incredible options for families. But we have to admit, we’re pretty excited about our five top picks all the same.

Take a look at our picks for Best Places to Live in Richmond and see if your neighborhood made the list! If not, then who knows, maybe you’ll discover the next place you’d like to call home.

Stratford Hills

This Southside neighborhood (i.e. south of the James River) offers a unique setting for Richmond. Despite being close to the city, Stratford Hills offers outdoorsy families a chance to experience…well, the outdoors. Filled with heavily wooded neighborhoods, easy access to riverside trails, and many homes with large yards, it’s easy to feel a world away from the city – even though Stratford Hills is still within the city limits. It’s not uncommon to see wildlife including deer and if you head down by the river to hotspots like Pony Pasture, you might even catch some turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. Many homes are within walking distance to the river, making for incredible family outings.

Why it’s one of the best places to live in Richmond

Despite its “woodsy” feel, Stratford Hills lacks nothing in terms of accessibility. The nearby Belvedere Bridge and/or Nickel Bridge will get you to The Fan or downtown with ease. And really, regardless of where you work, Stratford Hills offers a central location and easy access to major roads, meaning that getting to nearly any point in the Greater Richmond area is a breeze. One word of warning, however. If you don’t have an E-Z Pass, you might want to get one – there are some toll roads.

You’ll also find plenty of local shops and restaurants near Stratford Hill, as well as in neighboring Westover Hills and Forest Hills. But, if it’s shopping, dining and entertainment on a larger scale that you’re after, take a quick five-minute drive to Stony Point Shopping Center, one of Richmond’s premier outdoor malls and mixed retail centers. Or head ten-minutes to the east and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Richmond with all of its activities, events, and options.

For affordability, Stratford Hills comes in around $260,000 for the median home price. More than some areas, but less than others, you’d be hard-pressed to find a resident of the area that wouldn’t agree that this area is all about value for your money – especially if you value nature and convenience. As for safety, despite its proximity to the city, it remains a safe community with crime rates well below the state and national average.

Last but not least, schools in this area aren’t as highly ranked as some areas. But, that’s not to say they’re not right for your family, especially considering that area schools still rank higher than national averages. And of course, school zones make all the difference and we can tell you with confidence that Stratford Hills does have access to some highly rated schools. Be sure to talk to your realtor about where to live in order to enroll your children in certain schools. You can always learn more about schools at

Want to learn more about Stratford Hills? Visit the Southampton Citizens’ Association Facebook Page to see what’s happening in the Stratford Hills area.

Find Stratford Hills on the Map.

Short Pump

If you’re a long time resident of the Richmond area, then you’ll remember a time when Short Pump was nothing more than farmland and pastures. Well, needless to say, those days are long gone. Today, Short Pump is a booming area of growth to the west of Richmond in Henrico County. Originally, the village of Short Pump was given its name because of an actual short-handled pump located at a local tavern. Although the name stuck, the area has changed drastically thanks to the introduction of a number of large businesses, including the Short Pump Town Center, a large mall, dining, and retail shopping center. Along with physical growth has come significant financial growth, as well, making Short Pump one of the more affluent areas in Richmond’s Far West End. But, with growth comes many benefits including amenities, jobs, and top-notch schools.

Why it’s one of the best places to live in Richmond

While Short Pump isn’t as close to the city as some of the other areas we’ve listed, it’s still considered an extension of Richmond. This fact is aided by easy access to I-64 and 288. For commuters to the city, this makes travel much easier; however, thanks to the number of businesses in and around Short Pump, jobs aren’t limited to the city by any means.

As for entertainment and amenities for the family, take your pick. Thanks to Short Pump Town Center and continued growth in the area, there’s something for everyone from upscale dining and shopping to bowling, movies, skating and much more. Likewise, Short Pump offers easy access to Henrico County’s amazing park system, including spots like Crump Park and Meadow Farm Museum, Three Lakes Park and Nature Center, and Deep Run Park.

As we mentioned, Short Pump has become one of the most affluent areas in Greater Richmond, which naturally means that housing will come at a higher price. The current median home price tips to the higher end of $300,000. However, with ample suburban neighborhoods featuring quiet streets, large single-family homes, and family-oriented amenities, many families find that it’s more than worth than worth the price tag.

But what really sets Short Pump apart for us is the school system. Short Pump offers some of the best public schools in the area, from elementary through high school. In fact, Deep Run High School was named the #11 school in the state by US News and World Report, with neighboring Glen Allen High School coming in at #16.

Want to learn more about what there is to do in and around Short Pump? Go to Visit Henrico County.

Find Short Pump on the Map.

Bon Air

Although technically in Chesterfield County, Bon Air remains a true Richmond suburb. Located just a quick drive from both the Midlothian Turnpike and the city of Richmond, residents of Bon Air have plenty of options in terms of lifestyle. Those looking for a quiet retreat from the city, but easy access to its amenities will feel like they’ve hit the jackpot. If you prefer a more suburban lifestyle, however, Chesterfield is waiting just to the south. Originally founded as a resort town, Bon Air served as a “country” retreat for wealthy city dwellers looking for a weekend escape. They would board the train and head to Bon Air to enjoy the “good air,” hence the town’s name. Today, Bon Air maintains vestiges of its former glory with many Victorian homes that date back to the 19th and early 20th century. To further preserve its history, a portion of Bon Air has been named a National Historic District.

Why it’s one of the best places to live in Richmond

As we’ve already mentioned, Bon Air offers a great location in terms of its proximity to both Chesterfield and Richmond city amenities, making job options more plentiful than what might be in the neighborhood itself.

One thing that Bon Air residents love most about their neighborhood is the quiet, small town vibe that it offers. With plenty of tree-lined streets and walkable neighborhoods, Bon Air offers a true sense of community. Likewise, it maintains its charm with plenty of locally owned, family-friendly restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores. Thanks to its location in Chesterfield County, Bon Air also benefits from Chesterfield County Schools, which have a consistently high rating. These factors combined with low crime rates make Bon Air a popular place for raising a family.

While all of these factors are great reasons to live in Bon Air, there are many other neighborhoods in the Richmond area that could make similar claims. What really sold us on this Richmond suburb, however, was the housing. With a median home price of just over $200,000 ($215,000 according to Niche), Bon Air offers affordable living just outside the city.

Want to learn more about Bon Air’s history? Visit the Bon Air Historical Society.

Find Bon Air on the Map.


For city folks who don’t necessarily want to, or can’t afford to, raise their kids in a more urban area like The Fan or Museum District, Bellevue is the perfect alternative. Located just north of Richmond within the city limits, Bellevue is a haven for urbanites looking for larger homes and tree-lined streets. As part of the larger Northside area of Richmond, Bellevue is considered one of the next up and coming areas, following on the heels of nearby Ginter Park. As part of an area that was originally created as a “streetcar suburb” of Richmond in the late 19th and early 20th century, many of the homes date back to the area’s founding. The iconic Bellevue Arch, which was built in 1894 as a beacon for the newly developing area, still stands today and serves as one of the neighborhood’s many charms.

Why it’s one of the best places to live in Richmond

If location is everything, then Bellevue has it all. With easy access to I-64, I-95, and the Powhite Parkway, commuters will have no trouble getting to work. As for city access, Bellevue is less than five miles from The Fan district, Carytown, the Museum District, and downtown. Not bad for a “suburb”!

Of course, if you’re not up for traveling even these short distance, Bellevue has more than enough to keep you and your family entertained. Bellevue is located next to attractions like Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (one of the top botanical gardens in the nation) and Bryan Park, a historic park listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For shopping and dining, the options are plentiful, especial along the MacArthur Avenue corridor, which offers a fantastic blend of eclectic shops and restaurants.

While schools in Bellevue don’t rank quite as high as some of the others on our list, that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for families in the area. With a wide array of both public and private school options nearby, families have choices. And that’s not to say the schools are bad by any means. In fact, nearby Richmond Community High School was named #17 in the state by U.S. News and World Report in 2017.

Finally, Bellevue offers affordability in an environment where hip meets history with a twist of city living.  With housing prices that fall into a median of just over $260,000, Bellevue is a great place to find a larger family home in an area that safe for kids to play – all without feeling like you’ve left the art, culture, and excitement of the city.

Want to learn more about Bellevue? Check out the Bellevue Neighborhood Facebook page.

Find Bellevue on the Map.


Located in Chesterfield County, Midlothian lies just to the west of the City of Richmond. This Richmond suburb started as a small coal mining town known as the Village of Midlothian in the 1700s. By the 1800s, coal has been abandoned, but thanks to its great location and the emergence of the railroad, Midlothian soon became a commuter town for the city. Today, Midlothian is one of the area’s most popular suburbs, which in many cases means significant growth and, sometimes a loss of charm. However, the residents of Midlothian have fought hard to maintain their quiet tree-lined streets and old-school charm. The result is an excellent blend of both new and old, including the preserved historic Village of Midlothian. Need more convincing? In 2011, CNBC named Midlothian #6 in the nation on its list of 10 Perfect Suburbs, and in 2017, Time Magazine MONEY named it the 47th best place to live in the country. Not bad, Midlothian. Not bad at all.

Why it’s one of the best places to live in Richmond

Midlothian is one of those places that seems to have it all. With easy access to major highways and interstates and ongoing growth in the business sector, Midlothian offers plentiful jobs and easy access to them.

Plus, thanks to the area’s growth, you’ll find tons of shopping, restaurants, kid-friendly activities, and parks. Best of all, there’s an ample blend of old and new, meaning that you can find quaint shops, restaurants, and neighborhood parks, as well as newer, trendier amenities.

As for the schools, Midlothian schools consistently rank among the best in the state, with many receiving as high as a 9 from Naturally, this draws families with kids of all ages to Midlothian, making for kid-friendly communities throughout the area.

With its ever-increasing popularity, housing prices in Midlothian have been on the rise. The current median home value comes in at $290,777, which is 6.5% higher than last year according to Zillow. But Midlothian remains one of the top “bang for your buck” areas on our list thanks to the types of homes available. If you’re looking to upgrade for a growing family, or maybe find your “forever home,” Midlothian is definitely worth a second glance.

Want to know more? Visit

Find Midlothian on the Map.

While these are some of our favorite neighborhoods in Richmond, there are still dozens more that are well worth a look. But if you’re new to the area, these five are a great place to start! In the meantime, learn more about all of the amazing activities, attractions, and offerings in Richmond with Richmond Mom’s Best of Richmond series!